November 25, 2019
Having to repave or resurface an asphalt driveway or parking lot is an expense that most people don’t save for. Doing either one of those is a sizable expense that you can avoid if you follow some basic asphalt maintenance tips. Stay ahead of damage and wear by setting up a maintenance schedule so your pavement lasts longer. Doing a few small things regularly will squeeze many extra years out of your driveway—and save you money. If you don’t have the proper asphalt repair products needed to do this work, there are professionals available to do the work for you. For larger jobs, that might be the best course of action.
Sealcoating asphalt is the first line of defense. It adds a thin protective layer to the asphalt that keeps vital oils in and keeps water and moisture out. Water and harmful UV rays slowly erode the sealcoating and will eventually lead to cracks and holes in the pavement. An annual sealcoating application will make the pavement look fresh and new, and it will protect the pavement from the elements.
Routinely sweeping and clearing leaves, debris, and other junk from your driveway will help you assess its condition. Leaves will trap water underneath them, and that water can work its way into the pavement through small cracks and gaps. When clearing your driveway, inspect it for small cracks and damage. These can expand if left untreated.
Cracks in the asphalt are the first sign that it’s breaking apart and something is wrong. These fissures start small, but eventually spread into a spiderweb and lead to heaving. Water gets into and underneath the pavement through those very cracks. Once there, the water can freeze and crack up the driveway from underneath. Fill those cracks with cold patch or crack filler and save your driveway.
Water is the main reason that pavement fails. If water gets down to a driveway’s base layer, it will slowly break it down from underneath. Once that happens it won’t be long before you must replace the whole thing. If you see a lot of standing water on your pavement after rain, call a contractor to see if they can fix it with a drain inlet or underdrain.
If possible, don’t let large trucks like garbage trucks or tractors park on your driveway. These trucks are very heavy and will quickly damage your pavement. Asphalt is not as durable as concrete and will break apart if excessive weights are put on it. By prohibiting heavy trucks from coming onto your driveway or lot, you will prevent it from having to bear such a heavy load.
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